Course Offerings

To see current term syllabi for selected courses in the Department, please go to https://managementtools3.wlu.edu/CourseOfferings/, search "Jour" in the Subject field, and click on any course. Syllabi that course instructors have made public will be indicated by a link.

Fall 2018

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Mass Communications

JOUR 101 - Coddington, Mark A.

This course serves as a gateway for both majors and non-majors to examine the role that the mass media play in society. The course examines the pervasiveness of mass media in our lives, and the history and roles of different media and their societal functions, processes, and effects. Students learn to tell the difference between fact and opinion and examine the links among theory, research and professional experience, while analyzing the ethics, methods, and motivations of the media and the expectations of their audiences. We discuss how media cover diversity issues and evaluate the policies and freedoms that guide and shape the mass media and the news media in the United States. Students complete the course as better informed consumers and interpreters of mass media and their messages.

Introduction to Mass Communications

JOUR 101 - Abah, Adedayo O. (Dayo)

This course serves as a gateway for both majors and non-majors to examine the role that the mass media play in society. The course examines the pervasiveness of mass media in our lives, and the history and roles of different media and their societal functions, processes, and effects. Students learn to tell the difference between fact and opinion and examine the links among theory, research and professional experience, while analyzing the ethics, methods, and motivations of the media and the expectations of their audiences. We discuss how media cover diversity issues and evaluate the policies and freedoms that guide and shape the mass media and the news media in the United States. Students complete the course as better informed consumers and interpreters of mass media and their messages.

Broadcast-Announcing Practicum

JOUR 162 - Finch, Kevin D.

Students learn the skills required to effectively anchor news, weather, or sports on the weekly Rockbridge Report newscast, which appears on a local cable access channel. May be repeated for up to three degree credits.

Beyond Google and Wikipedia: Finding and Evaluating Information Sources in the Digital Age

JOUR 190 - Locy, Toni R.

An introduction to information sources that academic researchers, journalists, public relations and advertising professionals rely on increasingly in the digital age to conduct scholarly research, report and write news stories, and to find, analyze and present research on trends in mass communications. Students learn how to evaluate sources of information for credibility and quality, while they strengthen their basic research skills to go beyond Google and dig below the surface of today's high-tech world.

Introduction to Reporting

JOUR 201 - Locy, Toni R.

Students are taught the principles and techniques of information gathering and news writing, with emphasis on fulfilling the role of the news media in a democratic society. Extensive laboratory work enables students to prepare assignments for online and other digital media, while stressing accuracy, clarity and skepticism in reporting and writing.

Introduction to Digital Journalism

JOUR 202 - Artwick, Claudette G.

Concepts and practices of news gathering and presentation in a multimedia, interactive environment. Combines classroom instruction with a converged news media lab in which students contribute to a website, television newscast, and newspaper. Note: The laboratory requirement is limited to three sessions during the term, as arranged with the instructor.

Sports Journalism

JOUR 210 - Locy, Toni R.

A seminar surveying, analyzing, and critiquing local, regional, national and international converged sports reporting and writing by working sports journalists. In addition, students read and analyze several longer pieces by working journalists, and write extensively. Students also are assigned to report on local high school and college sports.

Social Media: Principles and Practice

JOUR 220 - Coddington, Mark A.

In this course, students dive deep into social media, learning how to use it as thoughtful and ethical professionals, and examining its growing roles in society, politics, identity, and relationships. Students get hands-on experience in producing news for social media by running a multi-platform social news service. They also learn how to plan a strategic social media campaign, how to use metrics to analyze social media effectiveness, and how to use social media in reporting.

Public Relations Writing

JOUR 227 - STAFF / Locy, Toni R.

A writing course to teach the many forms of persuasive writing used by public relations practitioners to reach diverse audiences. Through frequent writing assignments and revisions, students master the art of press releases, media pitches, media alerts, features, public service announcements, newsletters, press kits, backgrounders, and coverage memos for appropriate media outlets. Students are exposed to social media and video skills as well as writing.

Communication Theory

JOUR 231 - Artwick, Claudette G.

A critical overview of leading theoretical traditions in communication studies. Examination of the concepts of general and thematic theories in use, describing the similarities and differences among the concepts and applying them in practical situations. Some attention is paid to epistemological foundations, the structure of communication theory as a field, and examining the relationship between communication theory and sociocultural practice.

Beat Reporting

JOUR 258 - Cumming, Douglas O.

Using the community as the laboratory, students develop competence in the principles and techniques of reporting and writing news for online, broadcast and social media in a democratic society. Working on assigned beats, students learn source development, news judgment, information gathering, news presentation and time management. Work is published and aired on the Rockbridge Report website and newscast.

Principles of Public Relations

JOUR 273 - Abah, Adedayo O. (Dayo)

This class focuses on understanding what public relations is and what those who practice public relations do. Students examine the origins of public relations, the nature and role of public relations, the major influences that affect organizational behavior, the ethics of public relations, and the professional development of public-relations professionals. Emphasis is placed on the planning, writing, and management functions, working with media and developing effective public-relations strategies.

Law and Communications

JOUR 301 - Abah, Adedayo O. (Dayo)

An examination of the development of First Amendment jurisprudence, the law of defamation, privacy, access, free press-fair trial, journalists' privilege, obscenity and pornography. The case study approach is used, but the emphasis is on the principles that underlie the landmark cases. This course can serve as an introduction to and preparation for further studies in communications law and/or the legal system in general.

Ethics of Journalism

JOUR 344 - Finch, Kevin D.

A study of the moral issues arising from the practice of modern journalism and communications. Includes examination of philosophical and theoretical foundations of ethics, the place and role of journalism in the larger society, and moral choices in the newsroom. Topics include: First Amendment freedoms, privacy, confidentiality of sources, conflicts of interest, cooperation with law enforcement, free press/fair trial, photojournalism, and issues of accountability.

Producing for Broadcast and Online Media

JOUR 362 - Finch, Kevin D.

Preparation for leadership roles in electronic media. Extensive work in decision-making and management in the newsroom through television news producing and Internet content construction.

Reporting on Business

JOUR 371 - Swasy, Alecia

Reporting and writing techniques used by journalists who cover the world of business, focusing especially on companies and their employees and customers. Students develop competence in framing, researching, and writing articles in these areas. A part of the business journalism sequence; also appropriate as an elective for other journalism majors and for business majors.

Spring 2018

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to the Politics and Policies of Global Communication

JOUR 150 - Abah, Adedayo O. (Dayo)

Intended for any first-year or sophomore; open to others by instructor consent. An introduction to a series of debates centered on the media, power, and globalization, locating these in their historical and cultural perspective and exploring ways in which media power is contested. Topics include the theories and problems related to international function of the news media, the entertainment industry, and the telecommunications sector; the creation of the global media marketplace; the evolution of international communication in the Internet age; and international governance structures.

The Magazine: Past, Present, Future

JOUR 215 - Cumming, Douglas O.

Magazines are probably the most resilient mass medium we have, which is good news in the digital age. Even though the magazine business was hit hard in recent years, a look at its past and future is far more cheering. In this class, students learn how to investigate a magazine from the past as a way of understanding the magazine business from the inside. They also learn from current magazine editors, writers, and publishers, with a four-night trip to New York City (additional fee required). And students create teams to produce a tablet-ready magazine prototype.

Cross-Cultural Documentary Filmmaking

JOUR 266 - Finch, Kevin D.

The United States is a melting pot of nationalities and cultures. As people move to the U.S. from other countries they go through cross-cultural adaptation, and identity becomes an issue for everyone. Students in this course work in three-person teams to produce five-minute documentaries on cross-cultural adaptation by an ethnic community in our region or by selected international students at Washington and Lee. Students are expected to immerse themselves in learning about the home countries and current communities of their subjects. The course includes instruction in the techniques of documentary film-making, allowing students to develop their writing, storytelling, shooting and editing skills.

Topics in Journalism and Mass Communications

JOUR 295 - Colon, Aly A.

Study of a selected topic in journalism or mass communications. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Appropriate for non-majors.

Spring 2017, JOUR 295-01: News Media and Religion: Faith, Facts, or Fiction? (4). Prerequisite: Sophomore class standing or higher. Open to non-majors. This class explores how the news media cover religion and whether this coverage helps or hinders understanding. Where do reporters turn for facts about religions? Do journalists reflect accurately and authentically religious lives? How do the news media depict people with extreme beliefs? Students examine these and other questions through readings, discussion, and interviews with experts and people of faith. Field trips allow personal exposure to places of worship. Colón.

In-depth Reporting

JOUR 356 - Locy, Toni R.

The principles and techniques of developing and creating enterprising, heavily researched journalistic work for the mass media. Students produce in-depth work for newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the World Wide Web. Extensive group work is required.

Media Management & Entrepreneurship

JOUR 377 - Swasy, Alecia

A seminar examining trends and challenges in media management, including a close examination of industry economics, changing reader and viewer habits, revenue and profit pressures, and labor and management issues unique to the news profession.

Winter 2018

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Mass Communications

JOUR 101 - Finch, Kevin D.

This course serves as a gateway for both majors and non-majors to examine the role that the mass media play in society. The course examines the pervasiveness of mass media in our lives, and the history and roles of different media and their societal functions, processes, and effects. Students learn to tell the difference between fact and opinion and examine the links among theory, research and professional experience, while analyzing the ethics, methods, and motivations of the media and the expectations of their audiences. We discuss how media cover diversity issues and evaluate the policies and freedoms that guide and shape the mass media and the news media in the United States. Students complete the course as better informed consumers and interpreters of mass media and their messages.

Introduction to Mass Communications

JOUR 101 - Abah, Adedayo O. (Dayo)

This course serves as a gateway for both majors and non-majors to examine the role that the mass media play in society. The course examines the pervasiveness of mass media in our lives, and the history and roles of different media and their societal functions, processes, and effects. Students learn to tell the difference between fact and opinion and examine the links among theory, research and professional experience, while analyzing the ethics, methods, and motivations of the media and the expectations of their audiences. We discuss how media cover diversity issues and evaluate the policies and freedoms that guide and shape the mass media and the news media in the United States. Students complete the course as better informed consumers and interpreters of mass media and their messages.

Broadcast-Announcing Practicum

JOUR 162 - Finch, Kevin D.

Students learn the skills required to effectively anchor news, weather, or sports on the weekly Rockbridge Report cable broadcast. May be repeated for up to three degree credits.

Beyond Google and Wikipedia: Finding and Evaluating Information Sources in the Digital Age

JOUR 190 - Luecke, Pamela K. (Pam) / Grefe, Richard F. (Dick)

An introduction to information sources that academic researchers, journalists, public relations and advertising professionals rely on increasingly in the digital age to conduct scholarly research, report and write news stories, and to find, analyze and present research on trends in mass communications. Students learn how to evaluate sources of information for credibility and quality, while they strengthen their basic research skills to go beyond Google and dig below the surface of today's high-tech world.

Introduction to Reporting

JOUR 201 - Cumming, Douglas O.

The principles and techniques of information gathering and news writing, with emphasis on fulfilling the role of the news media in a democratic society. Extensive laboratory work preparing assignments for print, electronic and online media, stressing accuracy, clarity and the appropriate use of the different media.

Introduction to Digital Journalism

JOUR 202 - Coddington, Mark A.

Concepts and practices of news gathering and presentation in a multimedia, interactive environment. Combines classroom instruction with a converged news media lab in which students contribute to a website, television newscast, and newspaper. Note: The laboratory requirement is limited to three sessions during the term, as arranged with the instructor.

Public Relations Writing

JOUR 227 - Becher, Thomas M.

A writing course to teach the many forms of persuasive writing used by public relations practitioners to reach diverse audiences. Through frequent writing assignments and revisions, students master the art of press releases, media pitches, media alerts, features, public service announcements, newsletters, press kits, backgrounders, and coverage memos for appropriate media outlets. Students are exposed to social media and video skills as well as writing.

Beat Reporting

JOUR 258 - Swasy, Alecia

Using the community as the laboratory, students develop competence in the principles and techniques of reporting and writing news for print, broadcast, online and social media in a democratic society. Working on assigned beats, students learn source development, news judgment, information gathering, news presentation and time management. Work is published and aired on the Rockbridge Report website and broadcast.

News Media, Race and Ethnicity

JOUR 268 - Colon, Aly A.

This course examines how the news media cover race and ethnicity. How accurate is the portrayal of racial and ethnic groups? How do news media deal with clichés, ignorance and fear when it comes to differences? Do they offer a comprehensive and contextual view? The course highlights some of the best examples of reporting on race and ethnicity and how such reporting delves into the complexity of culture that can educate and surprise.

Law and Communications

JOUR 301 - Abah, Adedayo O. (Dayo)

An examination of the development of First Amendment jurisprudence, the law of defamation, privacy, access, free press-fair trial, journalists' privilege, obscenity and pornography. The case study approach is used, but the emphasis is on the principles that underlie the landmark cases. This course can serve as an introduction to and preparation for further studies in communications law and/or the legal system in general.

Research Methods in Mass Communication

JOUR 332 - Coddington, Mark A.

This course introduces students to the systematic study of communication, including quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in both theory-building and applied contexts. Students examine the research process, conceptualization, design, measurement, and analysis. Modes of inquiry studied include survey research, content analysis, experimental research, focus groups, depth interviewing, ethnography, and historical research. The class also engages students in a research project that may serve a local nonprofit agency.

Multimedia Storytelling Design

JOUR 341 - Locy, Toni R. / Barry, Jeffrey S.

Have you ever wondered how news organizations put together their Pulitzer Prize-winning interactive stories? This course introduces students to tools that help them imagine, design, and create powerful interactive features with audio, video, graphics, and words on the cutting edge of journalism and mass communications. Students learn web design and programming skills using HTML CSS and JavaScript. This course is for students with little or no coding experience but who want to know, "How they did that."

Media Ethics

JOUR 345 - Colon, Aly A.

This course enables students to explore ethical challenges that arise within the various communication practices of contemporary media: journalism, public relations, advertising, documentary film, blogging and fictional programming. The course offers a grounding in moral reasoning and an understanding of professional ethics as an evolving response to changing social and industrial conditions in the media industries.

Editing for Print and Online Media

JOUR 351 - Locy, Toni R.

The principles and techniques of editing copy and producing publications for the print media and the World Wide Web, with emphasis on clarity of thought, legal and moral responsibilities, and effective communication. Extensive laboratory work. Attention is given to the latest computer-based production and editing applications, as students participate in producing prototype newspaper pages, the Rockbridge Report cablecast and website.

Producing for Broadcast and Online Media

JOUR 362 - Finch, Kevin D.

Preparation for leadership roles in electronic media. Extensive work in decision making and management in the newsroom through television news producing and Internet content construction.

Reporting on the Economy

JOUR 372 - Swasy, Alecia

Reporting and writing techniques used by journalists who cover the world of economics and business, focusing especially on the economy and financial markets. Students develop competence in framing, researching, and writing articles in these areas. A part of the business journalism sequence; also appropriate as an elective for other journalism majors and for business and economics majors.

Specialty Reporting

JOUR 395 - Cumming, Douglas O.

An advanced reporting course in which students develop expertise in a particular area of public significance. Topics rotate as faculty resources allow, and are likely to include education, politics, environment, religion, or education. Through reporting and writing, students learn about key institutions, terms, and sources related to the particular field. They learn how to identify newsworthy stories and write clear, compelling, fair, and accurate news stories for mass audiences. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. Appropriate for non-majors.

Winter 2018, JOUR 395-01: Specialty Reporting: Covering Education (3). Prerequisites: Open to majors and non-majors. Politicians, business leaders and parents claim they care about the education of our children. But the topic is complex because it touches on the biggest issues of our time, including race, immigration and democratic citizenship. Approaching education through nonfiction storytelling will enable students to find the human element behind the bureaucratic fog that often surrounds schools. This course is designed for journalism and non-journalism majors who want to learn how to tell a compelling education story for a general audience, and for students who want to teach, or are curious about education. Cumming.

Directed Individual Study

JOUR 403 - Locy, Toni R.

Directed study individually arranged and supervised in any area of the mass media.

Honors Thesis

JOUR 493 - Finch, Kevin D.

Students interested in honors work are expected to receive departmental approval no later than the middle of the spring term in the junior year.

Honors Thesis

JOUR 493 - Coddington, Mark A.

Students interested in honors work are expected to receive departmental approval no later than the middle of the spring term in the junior year.